Once a pioneer in providing hosted, integrated best-of-breed CRM applications, eConvergent Inc. starts a new life as a licensed software provider with the release early next week of its eMerge customer data integration application.
Using a number of technologies, including XML-based APIs, Enterprise JavaBeans, IBMs MQ Series message broker, and socket and Unix pipe processors, eMerge links disparate CRM applications in a customers environment by letting them share and exchange data.
Its a radical departure from the companys prior incarnation when it put together CRM applications from E.piphany Inc., Kana Inc., Cisco Systems Inc. and Interactive Intelligence Inc. and hosted them for customers as an integrated solution.
But the model never caught on with few customers other than dot-coms, which would later fail, ever adopting it. Jamcracker Inc. has also stumbled trying to offer similar integrated CRM services and plans to sell its platform as a licensed product.
Now eConvergent is offering to tie together customers existing CRM systems—sales, marketing, customer service, analytics—with eMerge. eMerge embeds in those applications with its Viewer, an ActiveX control that shows customer data aggregated from all channels.
eMerge also includes modules for specific CRM business processes including customer visibility, customer lifetime value, a premium customer program, cross-selling and up-selling, service-to-sales, correlation and closed-loop marketing.
Many CRM vendors are already working on making their applications more interoperable with other applications through Web services architectures, though eConvergent officials said their biggest competition will be in-house integration projects.
Customers may not find eMerge particularly affordable though. Pricing for the server starts at $100,000 plus $50,000 per system that the customer wants to adapt eMerge to and an additional $300 per user fee.